Senor Patata

Last year we had pretty much just one success in our garden: potatoes. Not only were they easy to grow, but they were insanely scrumptious, so we eagerly turned over a huge percentage of our garden space this year to a massive potato crop. Of course, being complete spazzes, we freaked out that Seeds of Change would run out of potato supply and not fill our order, and in our obsessive checking up with them to see what the status of our seed potatoes was, we got it into our heads that they had to be planted two to four weeks before the last frost. EEK! But the last frost is, like, next week! When the order finally arrived in the mail, we sent Boomer out for more bags of soil and leaf compost, and raced to ready the beds on a blustery, gray evening after work. Normally we’d save the yardwork for the weekend, but this was urgent! It had to be done right now!

So we discarded the protective straw coverings from two of the beds, and pulled up the volunteer garlic and onions coming up in the old soil. Then we lugged bags and bags of new soil into the garden and filled the beds up with the stuff. Then it was time for the fun part:

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Our delicious crops this year are going to be Yellow Finn (the single most delicious potato we’ve ever eaten, and a bumper crop last summer), Desiree, Banana Fingerling, and All Blue. We’ve never grown the latter three varieties, and if they suck, we’re going to be very disappointed by the space we gave over to them that could have been Yellow Finns. (Just kidding. I think we get Banana Fingerlings from our farm, and they’re fantastic.)

Potatoes are very fun to plant, because you dig a four-inch hole and drop a whole potato in.

patatasplanted.jpg

That’s it.

Of course, they’re moderately high maintenance once they grow, since you have to continue to mound soil around the plants to keep them happy, but in the meantime, we’re feeling super-productive. I mean, look at how much of our garden is now working hard at growing magnificent crops!

plantedtodate.jpg

The best part of doing all this work today was when we read the growing instructions that came with the seed potatoes, and discovered they can be planted starting two to four weeks before the last frost, and all the way up to twelve weeks before the first frost. So now we’re thrilled at the prospect of doing a second planting later this summer. That would at least justify how many seed potatoes we’ve got left over after this first planting.

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4 Comments

Filed under 4. April, Garden

4 responses to “Senor Patata

  1. You really grow a potato by planting a potato?

    Sheesh. There is so much I don’t know about gardening!

  2. Growing potatoes is the most amazing thing. The craziest part is harvesting them; after putting a potato in the ground, this huge leafy plant sprouts, it gets little flowers, then it wilts and yellows, and when you go to dig it up, assuming it never did anything, BAM! There are potatoes stuck to its roots. I really would love to know what the thought process was for the first person in prehistory to ever eat a potato.

  3. my mind is blown by the process.

    I feel like Homer Simpson…like there is a little monkey with a calculator in my brain and he’s doing the math and he just can’t believe it. See? I can’t even write a coherent sentence because I am so baffled by this potato thing.

  4. HAHAHAHA!!!!! That’s about where I am with all vegetables. I don’t get the science or biology or whatever it is that’s involved with turning a seed into a plant. And then the plant growing yummy vegetables? Forget about it! I’m in a constant state of awe when I look at plants we grew that started out as seeds. And then when the harvest happens, it’s just like, “These are foodstuffs. Foodstuffs just sort of come… from the store, right?” That’s where most of the fun of growing our own produce comes from for me — that feeling of, “Whaddaya know? It turns out potatoes AREN’T manufactured!”

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